USC Heads To Oregon For More Pac-10 Play
Oct. 11, 2005
THIS WEEK: The Trojans are off to Oregon this week for Pac-10 matches at Oregon State at 3 p.m. on Friday (Oct. 14) and at Oregon at 12 p.m. on Sunday (Oct. 16).
RANKINGS: USC (6-4-1, 0-1-0 Pac-10) dropped back out of the national polls this week after receiving a No. 27 ranking from SoccerBuzz last week. Neither Oregon State (8-4-0, 1-1-0) nor Oregon (8-3-1, 0-2-0) are ranked.
LAST WEEK RECAP: The Trojans took a disappointing 3-2 double-overtime loss on Friday (Oct. 7) to rival UCLA. The Bruins were ranked No. 4 and rode a six-game winning streak on the way into the match, but the Trojans put a good scare into UCLA with a quick score just 80 seconds into the game. Rosa Anna Tantillo notched her eighth assist of the season when she got the ball up to Amy Rodriguez deep in Bruin territory. Rodriguez sent a quick cross to Stacey Strong in front of the goal, and Strong powered it home for her fourth goal of the year. The Women of Troy kept coming, and took a 2-0 lead later in the half when Hillary Schwarzbach sent a free kick to a waiting Nini Loucks, who knocked the ball down and drilled it in. The 2-0 hole woke up the Bruins, and inthe second half UCLA out-shot USC 15-4 in the second half. Two of those shots found their mark within 30 seconds of one another, as the Bruins tied up the game with 38 minutes still to play. Still tied at the end of regulation, the teams stayed even through the first overtime period. In the second overtime, USC goalie Veronica Simonton made her 11th save of the game, but UCLA managed the game-winner in the 107th minute of play.
STRONG MOVES: With her goal just 78 seconds into the game against UCLA, freshman midfielder Stacey Strong moved up to tie with fellow freshman Amy Rodriguez as the team scoring leaders with four goals apiece. The goal was Strong's fourth in the past five games.
TOP HEAVIES: USC's junior/freshman tandem of Rosa Anna Tantillo and Amy Rodriguez have combined for a load of points for the Women of Troy. Rodriguez now has dished up either a goal or an assist in nine of the Trojans' past 10 games. Rodriguez and Tantillo both dished up assists against UCLA, which bumped Rodriguez's team-best points total up to 14 on the season and kept Tantillo as the undisputed assists lead with her eighth of the year. Freshman midfielder Stacey Strong is just a notch behind in the Trojan points surge with nine after posting four goals in five games.
GONE IN 16 SECONDS: Tracy Lansing's goal against Georgia on Sept. 16 marked a new school record for the fastest goal scored in a game. Just 16 seconds into play, Lansing finished off a pass from Amy Rodriguez, who received an early feed from Stacey Strong, eclipsing the previous fastest mark of 36 seconds set in 2003. In USC history, the Trojans have scored in the opening minute of play four times (2005, 2003, 1998, 1997).
OFFENSE ON: The Women of Troy have now scored in 10 straight games, ringing their total offensive production to 25 goals on the season after last week's loss to UCLA. In all, 13 different Trojans have hit the back of the net, and seven have now done it at least twice.
DEFENSES UP: Before coming up against the potent Penn State offense on Sept. 11, the Trojan defense -- with sophomore goalkeeper Veronica Simonton in the cage -- tacked up three straight shutout wins. The last time the Trojans had achieved such a string of victories was in 2001 with three straight 1-0 decisions during Pac-10 play. Against UCLA on Oct. 7, Simonton faced a whopping 24 Bruin shots, and came away with a career-high 11 saves in the tough 3-2 double-overtime loss.
TANTILLO TERRITORY: Junior forward Rosa Anna Tantillo continues to climb the USC charts. With another assist against UCLA, Tantillo -- USC's 2004 scoring leader -- bumped her season assist total to eight to re-tie current assistant coach Isabelle Harvey's assist mark set her junior season onfield for the Women of Troy. The single-season mark locks Tantillo in the all-time top 10 with the sixth best total. At this pace, Tantillo is on track to launch herself past Harvey's other single-season marks of 12 and 11 set during her career on the field for the Women of Troy. Now with 13 career assists, Tantillo still has some catching up to do to reach Harvey's historic top mark of 39 career assists.
GALLEGOS GETS GOING: After being sidelined for the start of the 2005 season, senior transfer Leah Gallegos has jumped right back into her position as an impact player in the front lines. Gallegos set numerous records at Flordia State before tearing her ACL and then choosing to come back home to Los Angeles for her senior season. She got her first start and first goal of the season against Long Beach State on Sept. 27. Since then, Gallegos has remained in the starting lineup for the past three games.
LECHE LIGHTS IT UP: Jocelyn Leche took another step up in the USC history books with a Sept. 18 game-winning goal on her perfect corner kick score against Oakland. The goal marked her third career game-winning score -- good enough to lift her to the ninth-best total on the USC career leaderboard.
STARTING FRESH: Six freshmen have stepped in with starting roles in their first seasons as Women of Troy. Five -- Meagan Holmes, Nini Loucks, Ashley Nick, Amy Rodriguez and Stacey Strong -- got starting nods in the season opener.
OREGON STATE NOTES: The Beavers (8-4-0, 1-1-0) opened conference play in Arizona and split Pac-10 games over the weekend, beating Arizona State 1-0 in overtime and falling to Arizona 3-0. USC is 10-2 all-time against Oregon Statem having won the past 10 matches. Last year, the Trojans won the game 1-0. The Beavers return nine starters and 14 letterwinners from last year's team that went 10-9-1 overall and 4-4-1 in Pac-10 play to finishing seventh. Steve Fennah is in his eighth year as head coach at OSU. Jodie Taylor is the team's leading scorer with eight goals and five assists on the season.
OREGON NOTES: The Ducks (8-3-1, 0-2-0) opened Pac-10 play with a pair of losses in Arizona, first a 4-2 loss to Arizona and then a 3-0 loss to Arizona State. USC has never lost to Oregon, boasting a 9-0 all-time record against the Ducks. Last year, the Trojans won the game 2-0. The Ducks return eight starters and 14 letterwinners from last year's team that went 3-13-3 overall and 0-7-2 in Pac-10 play to finish 10th in the conferece. Tara Erickson is in her first year as head coach at Oregon. Nicole Garbin is the team's leading scorer with eight goals on the season.
2005 SEASON PREVIEW: The 2005 Women of Troy are a dynamic blend of veteran players and new talent. The Trojans' 12 newcomers were heralded as the top recruiting class in the nation, joining a core of veteran talent including junior leading scorer Rosa Anna Tantillo, senior defenders Hillary Schwarzbach and Jocelyn Leche and sophomore goalkeeper Veronica Simonton. New to the USC coaching staff is four-time All-American Isabelle Harvey, who completed her Trojan playing career in 2000. Headlining the group of incoming talent are a pair of freshmen with U.S. national team experience -- forward Amy Rodriguez and defender Meagan Holmes -- and Florida State transfer Leah Gallegos. The returning talent and fresh faces have already commanded the respect of the powers that be, as the Women of Troy have racked up a No. 18 national ranking and the No. 2 pick in the Pacific-10 Conference coaches poll.
McALISTER FIELD: Beginning with the 1998 season, the USC women's soccer team no longer had to share a practice field with the football team, as the Women of Troy received a field all their own. USC played part-time on McAlister and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum until 2002, when the team began playing all its home games at the new facility. USC boasts an 25-10-5 (.688) record at McAlister Field.
LAST SEASON: In 2004, the Women of Troy missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time in seven years after finishing tied for 8th in the Pac-10 with a 3-6-0 record. USC won five straight games in September and October, but lost its last four conference games to finish at a 9-9-1 overall mark.